Professor of Biology
Daniel Hernandez (Currently accepting students for field and lab research in summer 2022. Information about the positions and the application form can be found here. Applications are due March 4th, 2022).
Dr. Hernández is an ecosystem ecologist studying grassland restoration and management and the ecosystem impacts of regenerative agriculture. His research team (the EcoCarls) investigates the patterns of carbon sequestration and nutrient cycling, the ecological role of grassland herbivores, and the ecosystem impacts of management strategies to control invasive species. He collaborates with Professor Mark McKone on projects in the Carleton Arboretum.
Rika Anderson ’06 (Accepting new students for spring 2022/fall 2023; indicate interest here. Form will be open until March 27th, 2022). General information about research in the lab can be found on the lab website.
Dr. Anderson is an environmental microbiologist interested in how microbes and their viruses evolve, adapt, and diversify. She is currently using bioinformatics approaches to investigate how marine microorganisms evolve in response to the extreme environment of deep-sea hydrothermal vents. She is particularly interested in understanding what this can teach us about the origin and early evolution of life on our planet. She teaches Genomics and Bioinformatics and part of Introductory Biology.
John Berini is a landscape ecologist interested in how environmental change is influencing the behavior of large herbivorous mammals. He is currently studying the relationship between the moose diets and their recent decline in Minnesota. Most recently he’s taught Landscape Ecology, Global Change Biology, Population Ecology, and a seminar that focuses on plant-animal interactions.
Annie Bosacker ’95 (Carleton College, BA; University of Minnesota, MS, PhD) is a zoologist who teaches behavioral ecology and introductory biology labs. She is interested in how to promote learning and scientific reasoning skills in field courses.
Charles Crutchfield ’82 (Carleton BA; Mayo, MA, MD) is a board certified dermatologist with a clinical practice in Eagan, Minnesota. In addition to his M.D. degree, Dr. Crutchfield also has a Master’s degree in Molecular Biology from the Mayo Clinic. He has co-authored the dermatology textbook ‘A Clinical Atlas of 101 Common Skin Diseases’ and authored over 100 scientific articles and publications. His research interests include psoriasis and ethnic skin disorders. Professor Crutchfield teaches the spring upper level biology seminar “Cutaneous Biology for the Pre-Medical Student,”
Sarah Deel is trained as an invertebrate biologist with a focus on endosymbiotic relationships in marine invertebrates. She is interested in how students best learn new concepts and skills in biology, and in how students utilize research experiences to deepen their understanding of biology. At Carleton, she has been involved with laboratory sections of Intro Biology, Animal Physiology, and Genetics. Currently she is developing, preparing, and teaching labs for Intro Biology I: Energetics and Genetics (Biol 125).
David Hougen-Eitzman (St. Olaf College, BA; Duke University, PhD) teaches entomology and introductory biology, as well as an agroecology class that visits China. He is Farm Club’s adviser and is conducting research on sustainable agriculture.
Fernan Jaramillo is a neurobiologist interested in sensory systems, the neuromuscular synapse, and the neurobiology of zebrafish. He teaches Neurobiology, Human Physiology, and a Neuroscience seminar.
Towsley Professor of Biology
Mark McKone (Now accepting applications for positions in the late summer and Fall Term of 2022, due by 1 April 2022)
Dr. McKone is an evolutionary ecologist whose research focuses on the interactions between insects and plants. Particular interests include the pollinator community of prairie composites and the evolutionary impact of pre-dispersal seed predators. More information on lab research positions and an application form can be found here.
Raka Mitra is a molecular and cellular biologist interested in the interactions between plants and microbes. Her lab studies a bacterial pathogen of plant roots with the goal of understanding disease development and plant defense. Current lab projects involve elucidating the role of bacterial effector proteins in plant disease. Professor Mitra teaches Cell Biology, Microbiology, Microbial Pathology and part of Introductory Biology.
Mike Nishizaki is an aquatic biologist interested in the interaction between organisms and their physical environment. His current research projects use marine/freshwater invertebrates to examine biological responses (e.g., behavior, respiration, gene expression) to fluctuating environmental conditions. Projects typically involve some combination of field work, lab work, computer modeling, and aquarium/animal care.
Matt Rand, a vertebrate reproductive biologist, studies the hormonal mediation and function of sexually dimorphic traits. Currently he is looking at the role of genes in determining pigment differences in Sceloporus lizards. He teaches Animal Physiology, Vertebrate Morphology, a seminar on Behavioral Genetics, part of Introductory Biology, and a non-majors course that explores the biological basis of reproduction and sexuality in Humans.
Professor of Biology
Jennifer Wolff is a developmental biologist interested in the embryonic development of the nervous system. She is currently using genetic and molecular approaches to investigate how male-specific neurons that control mating arise during development in the model organism C. elegans. She teaches Animal Developmental Biology, Developmental Neurobiology, part of Introductory Biology, and Biotechnology, Health, and Society.
Rou-Jia Sung’s research interests center on understanding how structure informs function — how does thinking about the shape of something inform our understanding of how it works? Her lab uses tools from biochemistry, structural biology, molecular biology, and cell biology to investigate the role of the ly6 protein family in regulating the function of neuronally important receptors and proteins. She is interested in developing new molecular visualization tools to facilitate the incorporation of 3D models for the teaching of molecular structure and function.
Debby Walser-Kuntz (Not accepting new students until fall of 2022.)
Dr. Walser-Kuntz is an immunologist interested in the intersection of the environment with the immune system. Her lab is testing how the common plastic component, bisphenol A, affects immune cell activation and response. She teaches Immunology, the Topics in Virology seminar, and the introductory course Genes, Evolution, and Development, and she leads the Public Health in Practice winter break program.
Professor of Biology
Stephan Zweifel is a geneticist and molecular biologist, is examining the replication and segregation of mitochondrial DNA in the yeast S. cerevisiae. His lab is interested in identifying and characterizing the nuclear genes responsible for the proper transmission of the mitochondrial genome. He teaches Genetics, Molecular Biology, part of Introductory Biology, and a seminar on Behavioral Genetics.
Senior Lecturer in Biology
Nancy Braker (BA Carleton; MS University of Minnesota – Entomology) is a conservation biologist. She has 20 years of experience working for The Nature Conservancy in land management, conservation planning, and monitoring of rare species populations, specializing in management of fire adapted natural communities. Nancy oversees all aspects of management of the Cowling Arboretum and McKnight Prairie, and works with faculty, students and outside users on research and use of the properties.
Shawn is a cell biologist who has an unhealthy fascination with microscopy. His interests have led him to previous work on cellular adhesion, phototoxicity in fluorescence microscopy, and a survey book chapter on microscopy techniques. As the former chair of a national postdoctoral subcommittee, he also enjoys talking about career options both inside and out of the scientific community. He is responsible for maintenance of all of the department’s scientific equipment, as well as coordinating reagent preparation and distribution to the faculty — with lots of student help!
Randy has a BA in Geology from Gustavus Adolphus College and both an MA in Anthropology and MS in Plant Sciences from the University of Arizona. Prior to joining the Biology department at Carleton in 2009, he had over 20 years of research and commercial experience in plant propagation,hydroponic growing and greenhouse production. Randy serves as supervisor of the biology greenhouse, zebrafish lab, and animal colony facility. Current research interests include testing new lighting systems, propagation of rare plants,and development of improved hydroponic/aeroponic systems growing systems.
Gary Wagenbach, an invertebrate zoologist worked on the population biology of threatened freshwater mussels in regional rivers. He taught a variety of courses during his 39 years at Carleton including off-campus programs, environmental studies courses, and served a stint as Director of Environmental and Technology Studies. At present he is helping with teacher professional development in a new K-12 school in Yangon, Myanmar (Burma). Please contact Professor Wagenbach at email@example.com.